“…Or how about a rich and influential politician coming from a family of rich and influential politicians, telling you the only reason you’re not a rich and influential politician is because you don’t have the right attitude, and you just haven’t made the ‘choice’ to become rich and influential?
So the point within this is that we can see how our own lives – our own apparent ‘choices’ involved in achieving our current level of income and position within the system — wasn’t really our ‘choice’ – because what we’re doing now has been mostly shaped by our particular background and opportunities that were already available — otherwise we could just make the ‘choice’ to become a billionaire, and just ‘take initiative’ and ‘do it’, right? We know that’s not how it actually works. We know that there are opportunities in the system that we simply do not have access to.
And yet many of us completely overlook this when we see minimum wage workers or homeless people or people relying on government assistance — and we place all responsibility solely on them and say ‘they can change their situation, they just don’t want to’. What we aren’t wanting to consider is that maybe these people had different factors involved in their personality development than we did. Maybe they had different opportunities available than we did, maybe they don’t have the same natural skills and aptitudes as we do. Maybe their personality, their idea of who they are, has been shaped in a way where they believe that being poor, being homeless, is all that is possible for them – and they are just ‘living who they are’ — as we experience that we ourselves are ‘living who I am‘. Maybe they don’t understand which channels to go through to find better work, maybe they’ve been out of work too long and nobody will hire them because they don’t trust them — maybe they developed a self destructive addiction — I mean do we really believe people desire to not be able to afford a a good life?
There is so much profit being produced in the system – so much that there are individuals like Warren Buffet who make over a million dollars an HOUR, there is no question that we could decide to provide everyone with a guaranteed income to support a good quality of life, regardless of your level of education, your background, your personality, your initiative or lack of initiative, etc, etc, etc.
I mean isn’t it obvious also that with a good quality of life as a foundation, without constantly having to face each day not being able to afford a dignified standard of life, that people would be more motivated to improve themselves and develop skills?
Isn’t that why we like to encourage and nurture and support our children financially? So they have a platform of support from which to set goals and be able to achieve them?
Within this, isn’t it clear that such statements like ‘poverty is a choice’, or ‘minimum wage workers just have a lack of initiative’, are simply programmed justifications brainwashed into us? Why else would we say such things when we actually in fact understand that what we do and what we become in the system is determined by more than ‘a choice’, and that changing your situation is not as easy as it sounds?
Why do we accept and allow a system that does not provide a platform of support to nurture everyone equally?
Why do we refuse to empathize with the poor? Is it because we are afraid that if we did, we would have to acknowledge that they cannot necessarily change their situations — just as we know and understand that it is in fact not easy to change our OWN situation — and therefore — it’s our responsibility to change the system, to change their situation?